The last two members of my animal family that I'd like to introduce, are Milly and Molly the 'ferel' stable cats.
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There's no electricity where I keep Harri and T'pau, and until recently I ddn't finish work until late afternoon and in the winter, by the time I got to them to feed them, it would be dark. I'd see dozens of little glowing eyes in the darkness and know that the rats were waiting to steal the feed from the feed bowls as soon as I'd filled them, and I'd catch sight of them by torchlight as they scurried to hide in the feed room. In the end I realised we'd be over run with rats and mice if we didn't do something soon. Poison was out of the question, and I didn't like the idea of traps, so we decided to get a couple of ferel cats from the Cat Rescue Society.

Enter Milly and Molly. Molly came first and spent a couple of weeks in a cage in the tack room, until she got used to us, followed by Milly. The Society said they'd be rescued as strays and would probably be too wild to pet. 'Just put food down every day, once you let them go, to encourage them to stay. You probably won't see much of them.' Well they certainly earn their keep, we hardly see a rat or mouse now. As for being permanently 'wild' they're the first things that greet us as soon as we walk thorugh the gate, rolling on their backs and waving their paws in the air to be tickled. I often find a hole in the straw in the shelters where one or other of them has slept with the horses, although Molly's favourite place to sleep in the daytime is on top of my saddle.
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They moan to everyone they see that they haven't been fed for five minutes, and the owner of the land, who has a trailer there, not only feeds them, but has them on her bed when she stays overnight. Two little cats who fell on their feet, I think, and who now have the best of both worlds!

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Next I'll be talking about saddles and the differenes between Western and English riding.